Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Planetary Formation Through Magnetic Fields

Magnetic loops carry gas and dust above disks of planet-forming material circling stars, as shown in this artist's conception. These loops give off extra heat, which NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope detects as infrared light. The colors in this illustration show what an alien observer with eyes sensitive to both visible light and infrared wavelengths might see.

Illustration credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Note: For more information, see Mystery of Planet-forming Disks Explained by Magnetism.

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